Staying Safe During Tax Season
Tax season may feel like it’s far away, but it will be here before you know it, increasing the risk of online tax scams. There have been reported cases by the Federal Trade commission where criminals use another person’s social security number and file the tax return to get the tax refund. This type of scam has become more popular with each passing year.
Scammers are also impersonating the IRS via phone scams and insisting that individuals owe them money to be paid as soon as possible. They are also creating crafty phishing emails and sending text messages in hopes that you will provide valuable personal information to be used to fill out your return forms.
Follow these cyber tips to stay safe during tax season!
- Keep your machines clean; Ensure that it is running an antivirus solution and is applied within the latest patches.
- If you complete your taxes online ensure that the user id and password is known only to you, and the password cannot be easily guessed. Most tax services, such as TurboTax, now allow individuals to choose two-factor authentication which requires a combination of a password and a text to verify the identity. It is best to enable two-factor authentications to access your online tax service.
- Do not complete your taxes online using a free WIFI spot or a public WIFI.
- The IRS will never call you and demand that you pay money via a gift card or pay them immediately. If you receive any calls like this, simply hang up.
- If you receive an email requesting personal information, do not provide any.
- Beware of free online tax filing services. It is best to file your taxes from a reputable online institution verses a new filing service that just came out.
- If you file your taxes using a third party or individual, ensure that they follow secure information security practices and have the proper safeguards in place prior to giving out your information.
About Northern Bank
Northern Bank is a Massachusetts-based chartered full-service bank, for businesses and consumers in New England. Founded in 1960, the company, headquartered in Woburn, Massachusetts, takes an entrepreneurial, commonsense approach to providing a complete line of banking solutions. Northern Bank has assets of $2 billion with 12 locations serving communities throughout Middlesex County. Northern Bank is a Member of the FDIC, an Equal Housing Lender, and consistently ranked among the best performing community banks in New England. For more information on online banking services please visit www.nbtc.com or follow the Northern Bank on Facebook (/NorthernBankMA/), Twitter (@northernbankma), Instagram (@northernbankma) and LinkedIn (company/northern-bank-ma/).